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How much has human-caused climate change influenced wildfire extent across western US forests?

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Thursday, 26 October 2017, 2:00

 

Thursday, October 26, 2017. 2:00PM. How much has human-caused climate change influenced wildfire extent across western US forests? John Abatzoglou, University of Idaho. Sponsored by Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. More information here.

 

Abstract: Wildfire activity across western US forests has seen substantial variability over the past century with changes in human settlement, fire management policies, and climate variability. Since the mid-1980s, the amount of fire across western US forests has increased 8-fold leading to a cascade of impacts including widespread forest mortality, carbon emissions, periods of degraded air quality, and substantial fire suppression expenditures. Although numerous factors aided the recent rise in fire activity, observed warming and drying have significantly increased fire-season fuel aridity, fostering a more favorable fire environment across forested systems. Human-caused climate change was responsible for half of the documented increases in fuel aridity since the 1970s and contributed to a substantial increase in forest fire extent over the past three decades.

 

 

 

Location  Smagorinsky Seminar Room, Princeton, NJ.